William G. Kennedy

William G. Kennedy

William G. Kennedy

Assistant Professor

Computational cognitive modeling, computational social science

Bill Kennedy is a Research Assistant Professor in the Center for Social Complexity. The Center is part of the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He is a retired Navy Captain (30 years of service in submarines and the Naval Reserve) and a retired civil servant (25+ years with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy). He joined the Center for Social Complexity in 2008 after a post-doctoral fellowship at the Naval Research Laboratory sponsored by the National Academy of Science. 

Dr. Kennedy is a member of Sigma Xi, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and has been a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and a life member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. His research interests include:  integrating computational cognitive modeling and computational social science; cognitive plausibility; and autonomy.

Current Research

Dr. Kennedy is the PI for a 3 year project to characterize the reaction of the population of a mega-city. The project started in the summer of 2016 and is sponsored by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) at a rate of approximately $150K per year. The project is supporting a CO-PI, Dr. Andrew Crooks, and has supported three graduate research assistants.

Selected Publications


  1. Kennedy, W.G., Cotla, C.R., Gulden, T., Coletti, M, and Cioffi-Revilla, C. (2014) Towards Validating a Model of Households and Societies of East Africa. Advances in Computational Social Science: The Fourth World Congress, Chapter 20, pp 315-328, S.H. Chen, I. Terano, H. Yamamoto, C.C. Tai (Eds.) Springer.
  2. Kennedy, W.G. (2011) Modelling Human Behavior in Agent-Based Models. Agent-Based Models of Geographical Systems, Part 2, pp 167-179. M. Batty, A. Heppenstall, and A. Crooks (Eds.) Springer.
  3. Skoggard, I. and Kennedy, W.G. (2013) An Interdisciplinary Approach to Agent-Based Modeling of Conflict in Eastern Africa. Practicing Anthropology 35(1), pp 29-33.
  4. Andrei, A. and Kennedy, W.G. (2013) Agent-Based Models and Ethnography: Combining Qualitative and Computational Techniques with Complexity Theory. Practicing Anthropology 35(1), pp 14-18. (best paper incentive award: MITRE.)
  5. Kennedy, W.G. and Bassett, J.K., (2011) Implementing a "Fast and Frugal" Cognitive Model within a Computational Social Simulation. Second Annual Meeting of the Computational Social Science Society of the Americas, Santa Fe, NM. (9-12 Oct. 2011)
  6. Kennedy, W.G. and Trafton, J.G. (2011) How long is a moment: The perception and reality of task-related absences. International Journal of Social Robotics 3(3), pp 243-252. Springer.
  7. Kennedy, W.G., Bugajska, M.D., Harrison, A.M., & Trafton, J.G. (2009). “Like-Me” Simulation as an Effective and Cognitively Plausible Basis for Social Robotics. International Journal of Social Robotics 1, pp 181-194. Springer.

Courses Taught

CSS-635, Cognitive Foundations of Computational Social Science (Spring semester most years)

PSYC-768, Computational Cognitive Modeling (Spring ever few years)

CSI-777, Knowledge Mining, first time in the Fall 2017


Dr. Kennedy holds a B.S. in mathematics from the U.S. Naval Academy (1972, “Beat Army”), and M.S. from the Naval PostGraduate School (1973), and a Ph.D. in information technology from George Mason University (2003).

In the Media

Dr. Kennedy was interviewed for an article in the Atlantic titled "What Happens if a Nuclear Bomb Goes Off in Manhattan," March 15, 2017